This is an honest question. I'm not trolling or looking to be flamed, scout's honor.
Why do messengers ride fixed gear bikes? I've been thinking about this and I'm honestly curious. The engineer in me wonders why, when the object of the job is to deliver as many packages, in as little time, to make as much money as possible, the messenger does not choose a geared bike. When speed is the name of the game, a geared bike just seems like the better choice. Perhaps call it: "choosing the right tool for the job at hand".
I hope not too many people will argue that a geared bike ridden at the same intensity level will be faster than a fixie.
So far, the possible reasons reasons I've come up with are:
1) Culture. I feel this is likely the overriding reason. For whatever reason, fixed gears became popular with the messenger crowd, and it would be hard for a messenger to go against convention and ride a geared bike.
2) Maintenance / cost of ownership. Whether due to the average messenger's relatively meager pay, or the abuse the bike may endure, the simplicity, low cost, and low maintenance of a fixed gear bike is desireable.
That's about all I've got. Any oppinions?